The summer holidays have started and it has been the usual chaotic end to the school year. I am a big believer in creating my own calm so over the past week I took a couple of trips with some friends to one of my favourite places at this time of year. It is a family run farm in Kent called Castle Farm and it has the largest lavender fields in the United Kingdom. The intent was to create some of my own calm!
The farm really embraces the relaxing notions that are attached to lavender. There is a gentle babbling brook running through the farm; tours, which allow you to wander amongst the rows and rows of lavender; and aromatherapy massages in the fields with tents shielding you from the public eye. They also have the usual farm shop selling local produce, but in my opinion they go the extra mile by providing some quirky and charming little stalls.
The night before Timothy’s last day of school we had just finished dinner and were doing a little tidying up. Timothy and I were talking about how we needed to get the gifts ready for his teachers. There was a group collection for vouchers but I also like to have something extra that is wrapped for Timothy to give – so he learns the gift of giving. We had already discussed what his presents would be and he helped with choosing. But on this evening, the evening before he had to go in with the gifts, he tells me there is another teacher he has two days a week. A teacher we didn’t have a gift for! My mind was whizzing, my ‘calm’ disappeared and Timothy looked at me and said ‘Well, are you going to the shops or are you going to get making?’ The cheek!!!
At that time of night, I didn’t have any option but to get making. I drew on my visits to the lavender farm, not only to remember its calming effects but also as inspiration for the gift. I had bought some lavender heads at the farm and remembered the horse cart with materials for people to make a lavender heart. A lavender heart it was going to be, but I was going to have to use what I had available at home for my creation. So using a linen sample, a scrap of ribbon, a single button and the lavender heads, a heart was created!
To package the gift, I used a sample of wallpaper and a cellophane bag that a card had come in. I cut the wallpaper to fit the bag and just slipped the heart down over the front of the wallpaper. I have a little ‘Hand Made with Love’ stamp, which I stamped onto a French General sticker label and used this to secure the packaging. I’ve heard over and over, ‘it’s the thought that counts,’ and although it is quite a simple gift – it definitely did involve thought!
Next school year I am going to work hard to create calm for us as a family more frequently than we ended up achieving this past year. I will have to have a good think about the best way to do this because last year disappeared far too quickly! I will start by making a lavender heart for our own home…and let it remind me…